AMD Agrees $12.1m Class Action Settlement for Bulldozer CPUs

/ 2 years ago
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The AMD Bulldozer architecture, at least on paper, sounded very impressive when it launched in 2011. Offering exceptionally high processor speeds and 8 cores you would’ve been forgiven for thinking that it might have given Intel something to think about. Indeed, processors such as the FX 8350 proved to be very popular with consumers and I’ll happily admit I still have one running within a PC at my home. Albeit moderately warmly.

The bottom line, however, is that if these CPUs did give Intel pause for thought, it didn’t last long. Put simply, while it sounded impressive, AMD had been somewhat imaginative over its representation of the processors. As such, outside of the realms of some very potent overclocking (which in fairness the FX Bulldozer range was capable of) they didn’t really come close to the best that Intel had to offer at the time.

So, why this trip down memory lane? Well, recently a class action lawsuit was raised against AMD directly due to the misleading manner in which these processors were sold and, in a report via TechPowerUp, AMD has decided to settle.

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AMD Settles Bulldozer Processor Class Action Lawsuit

So, what was the problem with the 8-core Bulldozer architecture? Well, quite frankly, and in very basic terms, they didn’t operate as 8 individual cores. Instead, they shared 4 channels. Think of it as 8 people in two rooms separated by 4 doors. At best, only 4 people could simultaneously walk through the doors at a given moment. This, therefore, required the other 4 people to have to wait if they wanted to pass at the same time. Bottleneck is the word!

So, quite frankly, while they did strictly speaking have 8 cores, AMD did use more than a little creative marketing. Similar to how Atari claimed their Jaguar console was 64-bit when in reality it was just two 32-bit processors stuck together.

The case has now been settled, however, with AMD agreeing to pay $12.1m. This equates to roughly $35 per unit sold and, incidentally, only applies to the original 8-core FX Bulldozer releases. In addition, only to those who live in California and who purchased their processor directly from AMD.

A significant sum, albeit vastly lower than the $60m the class action was initially aiming for. This does, however, perhaps mark the formal and final end of the AMD Bulldozer. A processer which was, despite what this might suggest, still pretty darn good!

What do you think? Did you own an AMD 8-core Bulldozer processor? – Let us know in the comments!

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